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Les Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Les Printemps de Chateauneuf du Pape Tasting

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The nearby city of Avignon is where several popes resided in the early 14th century. A castle was constructed in a nearby village for Pope John Pape XXII. Hence the modern name Châteauneuf-du-Pape or ‘New Castle of the Pope’.

The village is the source of robust reds and unique whites made from grapes like Roussanne, Marsanne, and Clairette. Wine lovers adore the wines from the Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape is no exception. Because of the high demand, it can be difficult to track some producers down.

We’ve long been fans of the wines, that’s why we jumped at the chance to attend Les Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It was a great opportunity to taste most of the wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape in one sitting. Many legendary producers and hard to find wines are present at the event, which makes it a can’t miss for Rhône lovers.

Les Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Les Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape is an annual event held in the village to showcase the current vintages. We attended the event this year, which was the 10th edition and saw 90 producers pouring over 250 cuvées. All of the producers were selling wines at prices lower than ex-cellar, so we saw many visitors walking out with cases of wine.

Les Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape took place over a Saturday and Sunday (6 & 7 April 2019). The room was packed during both days. So much so, that we didn’t get the chance to taste from every single producer, which is something we aim to do at events we attend. Regardless, we tasted a number of breathtaking wines and widdling down a list was difficult to do.

Impressions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The Good

  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape benefited from two recent extraordinary vintages, 2015 and 2016.
  • The reds from 2015 generally are more dense with concentrated fruit. The reds from 2016 tend to have higher acidity and are very approachable young.
  • There continues to be an increased focus on producing quality Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blancs. We were especially fond of those that were dominated by Roussanne.
  • The top whites and reds of Châteauneuf-du-Pape can be extraordinary, ranking among the best wines in the world.

The Not-So-Good

  • Alcohol levels continue to be high in the reds, many wines approached 16% abv.
  • We attended an in-depth masterclass of the 2009 vintage and found the reds did not age as gracefully as we had hoped. Our preference is to drink the reds of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on the younger side.
  • The prices of the special cuvées continue to rise, which cut out many consumers.

Exotic Wine Travel’s Picks

You can find out more about our scoring system on the WINE RATING page.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

  • Chante Cigale, ‘Extrait’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2017

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The Chante Cigale Extrait Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is a blend of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. Nice bite on the finish with flavors of lime, stoniness, white peach. Highly phenolic with a grippy and long finish. Full-bodied white. Score: 92/100

Domaine Chante Cigale Extrait Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc

  • Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2017

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The Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is lighter in style for a Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc. It’s not a special cuvée, it’s an entry-level white done well. Lime, white peach, tangerine, and baked stone flavors. The lightness, mid-palate intensity, and vibrant acidity make this wine stand out. Score: 90/100

Clos de loratoire des papes chateauneuf du pape blanc

  • Domaine du Pegau, ‘Cuvée A Tempo’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2017

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The Domaine du Pegau Cuvée A Tempo Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is matured in a concrete egg. A blend of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Roussanne. Has a lime element with white peach, yogurt, and mineral notes. A full-bodied white with mid-palate presence and a long finish. Score: 94/100

Domaine Pegau Cuvee a capo chateauneuf du pape blanc

  • Château La Nerthe, ‘Clos de Beauvenir’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2016

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The texture of the Château La Nerthe Clos de Beauvenir Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc steals the show here. Full of oak, stone fruit, melon, lime, and minerals. Full bodied and it acts a little bit like ripe white Burgundy. Long finish. Score: 93/100

Chateau la Nerthe Clus de Beauvenir Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc

  • Château de la Gardine, ‘Cuvée Des Générations Marie Leoncie Vielles Vignes’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2016

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The Château de la Gardine, Cuvée Des Générations Marie Leoncie Vielles Vignes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2016 is barrel fermented 100% Roussanne. It has notes of lime peel, white peach, slate, and yogurt. Round on the palate with firm structure from the barrel. The concentration and length of the finish make this a special wine. This is built to age. Score: 93/100

Chateau de la Gardine Cuvee des generation marie leoncie chateauneuneuf du pape blanc

  • Domaine la Barroche, ‘Pure’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2017

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The Domaine la Barroche Pure Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is a stunning wine made from 100% Clairette. It was such an exciting wine that I didn’t gather myself to take a photo of the label. This is a unique Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc. Notes of apricot, tangerine, white peach, and yogurt make up the flavor profile. It’s a full-bodied white with vibrant acidity and a long finish. Spectacular stuff. Score: 94/100

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

  • Domaine Serguier, ‘Revelation’ Châteaneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2016

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The Domaine Serguier Revelation Châteaneuf-du-Pape is a special cuvée made with old vine Grenache. Notes of strawberry, violets, pepper, and garrigue. Medium bodied with chewy tannins and a long finish. Spectacular wine that has a long life ahead of it in the cellar. Score: 94/100

Domaine Serguier Chateauneuf du Pape Revelation

  • Domaine du Pegau, ‘Cuvée da Capo’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2016

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The Domaine du Pegau Cuvée da Capo Châteauneuf-du-Pape is big, rich, and ripe. It’s concentrated and round on the palate. A complex wine with notes of black cherry, plum, stewed strawberry, pepper, and meat. Full bodied with tough tannins. This is built for big-time meats and has a long cellar life ahead of it. Score: 95/100

Domaine Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee da Capo

  • Paul Autard, ‘Juline’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016

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The Paul Autard Juline Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a big and rich wine done right. Full of sweet strawberry, sweet cherry, and Jamaican jerk spice. It’s chewy and crunchy at the same time. Tannins are well integrated. It’s full-bodied but not jammy or overly raisinated. Score: 94/100

Paul Autard Juline Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge

  • Domaine de la Charbonnière, ‘Mourre de Perdrix’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge  2016

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The Domaine de la Charbonnière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Mourre de Perdrix is full of stewed strawberry, chocolate, tobacco, and mineral. Silky smooth on the palate with grippy tannins. Long finish and tons of complexity with the ability to age. Score: 94/100

Domaine de la Charbonniere Cuvee Moure des Perdrix chateauneuf du pape

*Check out a video comparison between the entry-level Cháteuneuf-du-Pape Rouge from Domaine del Charbonnière and a Washington State GSM from Tenet on our YouTube channel.

  • Domaine de la Janasse, ‘Chaupin’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2017

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The Janasse Chaupin Châteaneuf-du-Pape 2017 is made from old vine, 100% Grenache. It tastes like a stewed strawberry, beef jerky, and pepper rolled up into one. Round mouthfeel with sweet tannins. Full-bodied red that is mouth-filling with a long finish, you have to be patient with this beast. Score: 96/100

Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape Chaupin

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Thank you to the Fédération des Producteurs de Châteauneuf du Pape who provided our travel and accommodation. Please note that the opinions expressed are our own and have not been paid for in any way. We do not sell editorial content as that would destroy the legitimacy of our reviews and the trust between Exotic Wine Travel and its readers. On occasion, we extend the option of purchasing the wines we review or/and the products we spotlight. Some of these product links are set up through affiliate programs, which means Exotic Wine Travel gets referral credits if you choose to purchase these items via the links we provide. 

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